I'm an 18 year old female and I've been struggling with something for years now.
Every now and then (once to a couple times a month) I feel completely worthless. I feel like I'm the most inane, annoying human being on the planet and I cannot see how people can stand to be near me. I can't even stand to BE me. People will tell me they love me; I have the most amazing boyfriend and a few really great supportive friends who would tell me they loved me until they're blue in the face. But for some reason I can't believe them. I feel like they're just going to get sick of me and leave me like my mother did when I was little and I'm going to be alone again. I can't shake this feeling, which makes me feel like I'm being even more unbearable. I don't even want to talk about it with other people because it makes me feel like I'm acting like an unreasonable emotional baby and am just alienating and pulling everyone away because I know that they can't really help me. When I do talk about it, I end up feeling stupid and worse about myself.
Granted, a lot has been going on, especially lately. I'm going to college in an area that I really don't want to be in, juggling a job to help support my family, putting up with some pretty nasty attitudes from a couple of my family members and trying to stay strong and positive in my (long distance) relationship. I'm sure these things are not helping the problems I've been having. I guess what I'm asking is; how do I deal? Is there any way I can help myself? If you would like any more info, just ask. Thanks and I hope I didn't waste you time too much.
Posts: 21 | Registered: Dec 2007
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Have you thought about therapy, or at least finding someone to talk to about what's going on, both with your emotions and with some of the things you're dealing with?
At this point, you've recognized the problem, but dealing with it is a whole new bag of tricks, and something you probably won't be able to do by yourself. So my suggestion is to try and take some of the weight off your shoulders and see someone, even if it's just a school academic/life support counselor.
I've been in therapy on and off since I was six and I don't know if I've just not had very good counselors or if I'm doing something wrong, but no one I've gotten up the guts to talk to has really been able to help me at all. Their first reaction is always to mess with medication (which I'm finally happy with after years of trying this and that) or to send me to someone else so that they can try to deal with it. I've tried to talk to people (which is pretty difficult on it's own. It took a lot for me to ask you guys, actually), but it hasn't ever been very fruitful and always just ends up making me feel worse.
Another thing is that I only feel like this a one or two times a month and it only lasts for a couple days. Normally I'm a fairly happy, intelligent, hard-working person. The thing is, it's just so intense when it does happen. I feel like I can't do anything right, like I'm completely useless and how could anyone possibly love a stupid person like me? And I just cry and cry and cry.
I'm not even sure where to turn anymore. No one I've tried seems to know how to deal with it.
Posts: 21 | Registered: Dec 2007
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Hi. I'm sorry you haven't gotten a response sooner.
It's really huge and brave that you're expressing this here. I'm sorry you haven't gotten more support with this in your life. You most certainly deserve it.
It's awful, but in my experience, people often find it extremely difficult to listen to and support someone who is suffering with the feelings you describe. It's not because you're not good (or appealing or interesting or whatever). I think it's because most everyone feels this way themselves to a certain degree, and they haven't really processed these feelings, and so when other people bring them up it's triggering and overwhelming. People often try to shut up the suffering person under the guise of helping them.
Feelings of worthlessness are deep stuff and scary to look at. I think it's courageous that you're examining these feelings.
As for things you can do when you're feeling that way: Stepping back a bit can sometimes help. When I'm stuck in a mental loop thinking that I'm worthless, it's sometimes helpful to remember that there's no one else that I think is worthless, and so maybe I can grant myself the same respect I give others.
When you're feeling worthless it may be helpful to try to conceptualize it as feelings of worthlessness . You are not worthless, but for however many complex, deep reasons, you feel that way. Journaling about how or why you feel worthless can be helpful. I know it can be scary, but often going deeper into the scary feeling can a) be a relief because you're expressing the reality that you're afraid is true, and b) it can begin to create some separation so you can rationally look at the feeling.
Ideally, you would have a great therapist who could support you in this process, but I know that's sometimes hard to find. (You're not doing anything wrong to not get better help from your therapists). There are a lot of mediocre therapists out there--maybe they're okay for some things, but with the issues you're dealing with, it sounds like you need someone you have a real connection with, trust and who you feel is taking you seriously.
A lot of therapists do free or inexpensive "meet and greet" sessions (sometimes on the phone) where you can get a sense of them and see if you're a match. Maybe write up a list of things that you would like from a therapist--maybe things that are important for you that they understand. If it feels right, share it with them and see if their response resonates. My advice would be to trust your instincts and not settle. Try twenty therapists if you have to. Wait till you find someone who you think might be able to really listen.
-------------------- without tenderness, we are in hell. -Adrienne Rich Posts: 407 | From: USA | Registered: Oct 2008
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...this is crazy. and not because you're crazy....but because i feel the exact same way sometimes.....for example. me and my boyfriend are currently on a break because i started college and he is still a senior in high school. no matter how he, or anybody for that matter, tells me how much they love me, I don't believe them...not at all. And I have these feelings of people just staying friends with me because they feel sorry for me. I get the feeling like I'm an annoying person and I don't get why anybody would love me....I've told my boyfriend about this and he says (lovingly) that maybe I should see somebody to just talk to about it. .....idk.
Posts: 49 | From: US | Registered: Dec 2007
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Agreeing with bluejumprope up there. I've been diagnosed as depressed for going on 7 years now, and it's only with the grace of a good therapist and the right nudge of chemical balance that I'm able to stay on top of it most of the time.
Figuring out why you're feeling down is the surest way to start to be able to work against that feeling. A good Therapist will help you, but it's not an instant cure. Once you find a therapist that seems to be a good fit, there are always going to be a few weeks where he or she has to get to know you, so to speak, and alot of that depends on how willing you are to open yourself up to the Therapist.
I know that the time I had the worst amount of success with therapy I was being fairly close mouthed about everything that was going on either because I was ashamed or because I felt like I was so worthless that my problems were wasting my therapist's time and so didn't really go into them.
What has helped me get through this, and even with medication and my therapist it's still an uphill battle some days, is keeping in mind that no matter what I may tell myself, I have my family, my friends and my boyfriend who have shown that they care about me and what happens to me. And when that nagging voice in the back row of the lecture hall starts telling me I'm worthless, that my life is horrible, I get out a piece of paper and write down all of the things I'm good at, what I have done that I am proud of, and what, if anything, has gone well that day. Even if it's just something small as "I really liked my hot chocolate this morning". Then I push through, with the reminder that I can't quit because I am loved, because I have made progress, and/or I have more cocoa mix waiting for me in the cupboard.
I'm not sure if any of this is helpful, but mostly I wanted to let you know, you aren't alone, and I hope you find what you need to help you hang in there.
Posts: 8 | From: USA | Registered: Nov 2008
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